A trademark (mark) is generally a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others. A mark must have a degree of distinctiveness sufficient for consumers to exclusively associate it with a single origin (i.e. the owner of the mark). See generally, Abercrombie & Fitch Company v. Hunting World, Inc., 537 F.2d 4, 9-11 (2nd Cir. 1976) (categorizing terms as fanciful, arbitrary, suggestive, descriptive or generic); 15 U.S.C. § 1052(f).
Co-branding is a means by which the owners of two separate marks want to produce a good that includes both marks. The vehicle used to co-brand a mark is by use of a license. The licensed mark need not have anything to do with the product being sold, or it may be complimentary to the product being sold. Companies engage in co-branding for several reasons. Typically, both parties believe it will benefit the market share of both brands.
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